Category

strategy

How Much is Your Online Reputation Worth to Your Business?

By | marketing, strategy, Uncategorized | No Comments

There’s a business adage that goes something like this: a happy customer tells a friend; an unhappy customer tells the world.  With the Internet at our fingertips and social media just a few clicks away, an unhappy customer really can tell the world in just a few seconds.  And the world is paying attention.

Here are some recent statistics concerning online reviews:

  • 92% of consumers read online reviews
  • 80% of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • 94% of consumers would use a business with a 4-star rating
  • 40% of consumers form an opinion after reading just one to three reviews
  • 73% of consumers form an opinion after reading up to six reviews
  • 88% of consumers form an opinion after reading up to ten reviews
  • 63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site that has reviews
  • 68% of consumers trust reviews more when they have good and bad scores
  • Star rating is the number one factor used by consumers used to judge a business
  • Online reviews are a search engine ranking factor

Online research plays a vital role in consumer purchasing and it is clear that online reviewers have become key influencers in the purchase decision-making process.  Now more than ever, it is critically important that businesses capitalize on the value that online reviews offer.

Now, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does your website display your company’s online reviews?
  • Does your business have fewer than 10 online reviews in the last two months?
  • Is your average star rating on Yelp or Google Maps four stars or higher?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, then you may be not be making the most of your company’s online reputation.   Full Moon Design Group can help you determine a strategy for managing and improving the impact of your online reviews.  For assistance with online reputation management, contact Full Moon Design Group at (512) 428-9072.

How to Generate More Likes on Your Facebook Business Page

By | full moon design group, marketing, social media, strategy, Uncategorized, Vicky Gouge | No Comments

The more likes your Facebook business page has, the more opportunities to get your message and products to the people who are most likely to engage with your content and make a purchase. Facebook uses a variety of algorithms to give more reach to posts that come from a page with a higher number of fans, and the more that your content is shared and circulated the more credible your brand become in the eyes of search engines and other users. So ensuring your page gets as many likes as possible is vital to your social media marketing strategy.

In a world that’s saturated with advertisements and a variety of companies to choose from, how do you gain the trust of users enough to begin following your brand? Here are a few ways to generate more likes for your business page on Facebook:

  • Optimize your Facebook page info: Be sure to fill out as much of the page information as you can and keep it consistent with your other social media business pages or accounts where your brand is represented. Most people will only see the basics when they look at your Facebook page: Your Company name, your picture, and a brief description. Making sure they are consistent prevents any possible confusion and shows potential customers that you are reliable. Don’t forget to make sure it’s aesthetically pleasing, too—you want people to remember your brand.
  • Post engaging content: Facebook users are inundated with content on their feed, so “content for content’s sake” is not going to cut it. Pictures, links, videos, and posts all need to be engaging enough to capture your audience’s attention—are you providing information that they can utilize and rely on in moments of need? Are you helping them answer a particular question or are you just paraphrasing information that you have already posted? However, it’s important to remember that content does not have to be limited to blogs. Visual posts, in the form of pictures or videos, are more likely to receive engagement and attract new fans.
  • Stay active: Post frequently. In most cases, this will be somewhere between 3 days per week to every day. You can also use Facebook Page Insights to tell when your fans are online so you can make sure to be available to join in the discussions that are happening about your business. Also, by posting something when your audience is online, you increase the likelihood that your message finds the user right when they are online.
  • Run a contest: Contests are a great way to promote your brand on Facebook. To be most effective, they should be simple, yet fun. They should also be relevant to your audience so that more people are likely to participate and spread the word about your contest or specials. Make sure that you keep everyone updated on when the contest or special is about to end and then announce the winners—show your target audience all the fun people are having by associating with your brand
  • Use social media monitoring: Facebook Page Insights provides a number of metrics you can use to measure the effect your posts have on your audience, allowing you to adjust content and timing accordingly. Demographic data of your current followers such as age ranges, gender, geo, and other interests can give you a better representation on who your ideal customer is so you can target similar audiences. Audience targeting helps make sure that your message and advertisements are presented in the News Feed of users who are most likely to take an interest in your brand or your products being offered.

 

 

Coupled with good design and a strong brand, these tips will help ensure that your brand is deemed as credible and trustworthy to people who aren’t already fans of your Facebook business page. For more information, contact the experts at Full Moon Design Group.

Promotional Items = Walking Billboards

By | advertising, branding, marketing, Promotional Marketing, strategy | No Comments

Take a second and look around. You are probably at your desk reading this blog post or you are reading this on your phone. My bet is you have a few promotional items around that you may not realize are there anymore, but for one reason or another you kept it nearby. Me? Just at my office, I have an acrylic cup from one of my favorite vacation spots, a cup from the World Championship Goat Cook-Off, a couple of coasters, one representing my Longhorns, koozies from numerous clients, a client’s calendar and too many pens to count! At home, I have so many chip clips that I am never hurting for one when in need! Do I use them all? Yes! That’s what makes them effective. Even the notepad that I love so much I use it daily has the company’s logo on it.

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Marketing: All Wheels need to be in orbit.

By | advertising, branding, corporate branding, design, Direct Mail, Direct Marketing, email marketing, full moon design group, Graphic Design, marketing, Promotional Marketing, social media, strategy, Uncategorized, website | One Comment

Introducing the Lunar Cycle: All marketing wheels need to be in orbit!
*Note: Our model is to serve as a summary of good marketing practices.

To be successful in business, you have always needed a marketing strategy. Your marketing strategy has always needed to promote your brand while protecting it at the same time. And the result of a truly successful marketing plan is a well recognized brand of a profitable business! Smaller businesses struggle daily to keep up with their marketing and branding. It’s easy to get focused on one particular method and forget about the rest. I am writing this blog today to stress that marketing strategies have not changed and as a business, you can’t survive on just one approach!

Full Moon Design Group’s Luna Cycle

Print doesn’t substitute your networking activities and web doesn’t substitute your print materials and social media does NOT substitute for all of it! Instead, you will want to make sure that they are all working together, in unison, promoting your brand and communicating the same message.

There are five different marketing wheels and each one orbits around your brand. Each of the five, have their own moving parts. We will be expanding this blog into several posts in an effort to start the conversation of each of the wheels and the components it is made of.

It all starts with your Company Culture. Developing a strong company culture will ensure that your company’s mission is brought to the forefront and that you are getting the Word of Mouth marketing that you want.

Next, you have your Activities. These activities consist of Special Events that you hold as a company, Charities or Non-Profit organizations that you and your company support, local Chambers that you are a member of, Professional Associations that make sense for your company and employees, Sponsorships that promote your brand to the right audience and Tradeshows that will help you get in front of your audience.

Your printed materials will consist of creative Ads, Direct Mail, Stationary, Brochures/Flyers/Pushcards, Promotional products and Presentation Materials. When engaging in your Activities, it’s always helpful to have printed material to support your brand. What printed material you have at each activity should be relevant and impactful.

Moving to the digital world, you now need to have a website. Your website should be clean, inviting and engaging to your current clients and prospective ones. Features of your website that should not be overlooked include a Blog, Newsroom and Email sign up form for your newsletter. In your Blog, you’ll be the expert and offer advice, your Newsroom will keep people abreast of the “goings on” in your company, and your Email newsletter will be a place for special offerings and information.

Expanding into the digital world, we find Social Media and boy does it get complicated and overwhelming! Social Media is an all access pass to the world. It’s a free medium for you to engage strangers, communicate your thoughts & ideas, and invite people in to really “get to know you” as a business. Social Media is now the gateway to higher rankings from search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Ask. To keep it simple, we’ve grouped Social Media into several descriptive categories…and this just scratches the surface!

The most familiar outlet is the Lifestreams/Microblogs which include Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace. Within these Lifestreams, you will find Location Based applications like Gowalla, Foursquare, and Whrrl…great ways to promote your business and interact with the public. When blogging or offering useful white papers, Social Bookmarking is a great way to make sure people find you. Popular methods are Delicious or Stumbleupon. Moving on to more fun stuff, you’ll find the Media Sharing sites like YouTube, Ustream and Flickr. For businesses, it’s important to participate in Business and Niche Networking sites like LinkedIn, Ning & Spoke. And last, but not least, you have the Review based sites including Yelp, Google & Yahoo.

The sixth component of the Luna Cycle is Public Relations. Your public relations strategy should be coordinated with your marketing strategy and pushing the information out to the public. Full Moon Design Group has strategic PR partners in place that we work with frequently to ensure our clients get exposure in all aspects of their business, in as many places where their audience resides.

Our Thoughts on Customer Reviews: We Want to Hear from You!

By | strategy | No Comments

As you’ve probably noticed, more and more people are looking to reviews to determine whether or not they should buy from a particular store, eat at a certain restaurant or buy a new product. Heck, you might be one of them…I know that I am! The stats are proving that people are trusting an online stranger over advertising. So, what does that mean for businesses? Get the reviews! Get your customers involved!

Here are some surprising stats:

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Why Direct Mail? The Pros, Cons, and Proven Results

By | advertising, branding, design, Direct Mail, Direct Marketing, full moon design group, marketing, strategy, Vicky Gouge | No Comments

Direct mail is one of the most cost efficient and effective marketing tools businesses can use to reach their customers. For a small investment, direct mail reaches a large number of people, gets information directly into the hands of its audience, builds brand awareness and incites people to take action. Direct mail can offer incentives and discounts, educate the public, and can also promote other marketing incentives and tools at the same time (think website, social media badges, special online only offers, etc).

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The Importance of Direct Mail and Email Marketing in the Social Media Age

By | branding, Direct Mail, Direct Marketing, full moon design group, marketing, social media, strategy, Vicky Gouge | No Comments

I have had quite a few posts recently touting the benefits of social media.  While still in its infancy, social media and social networking are incredibly powerful when executed properly and when companies use them to bridge the communication gaps between themselves and their customers, clients, and core audiences.  But while just about everyone is at least dipping their toes into social networking these days, it is important to realize a couple of important things about those old tried and true methods: direct mail and email marketing.

1.  The social market is just one more component in the Wheel of Persuasion. Direct mail and email marketing are

Marketing Wheel of Persuasion

tools on the wheel as well, and in order to have an effective campaign, all elements must be considered,utilized and executed properly, and then measured to receive the maximum ROI.

2.  While there is a mass migration to social media and so many companies are advertising and selling their “wares” on social media sites, they are forgetting about direct mail and email marketing; thus these avenues may actually become more effective.  Direct mail and email marketing can also be just as cost effective as a properly planned social media campaign.  By using all of these avenues to reach your targets on multiple levels and multiple locations you are reinforcing brand recognition and messaging, and creating a stronger campaign as you go.

3.  Email marketing may seem easy, but there are a lot of very strict laws out there that prohibit businesses from sending unsolicited messages.  If you are caught doing this without following the rules, it can be costly on a number of levels.  (A.)  You can be given a pretty steep fine and in this economy can anyone really afford this?  (B.)  You lose the trust of your audience.  When you send spam, you are bringing your company and your campaign down to the same level as those businesses (is that what they really are?) that send out the latest discounts on male enhancement drugs.  Is this really the category under which you want your message to be filed?  No.  Marketing professionals are very aware of these laws and it is in your best interest to consult with them before you try to send anything out.

One thing to remember about using social media to promote your business is that it takes time to develop relationships and gain the trust of those people you are trying to reach.  Then once you reach them, often the messaging is not perceived in the manner in which you intended it to be conveyed.  But remember, perception is reality from each person’s standpoint.  Full Moon Design Group is experienced in reaching audiences using techniques that limit those variations in perception and truly get across the meaning in the light our clients want to be seen in.

Consistency is the key. Direct mail, email marketing and social media can actually be used to cross promote each other.  The point being is that marketing effectiveness does not happen in a bubble.  They should all be a part of your overall campaign.  They strengthen your brand, your image, your message and get you in front of your customers.  Let us help you develop a strategic overall marketing campaign and design the right mix of all of these elements that is right for your company.  Contact us today: 512.428.9072

Hotel ZaZa – A Branded Success

By | advertising, branding, corporate branding, design, Direct Marketing, full moon design group, Graphic Design, marketing, Promotional Marketing, strategy | No Comments

A little over a month ago, I headed to Dallas with a very good friend. Since it was a girls’ weekend, we decided to pamper ourselves and stay at Hotel ZaZa. I had not heard of the boutique hotel before this trip, but after staying there for two nights, I’ll never forget it! From the interior design of the hotel, to the coasters in our room, to the vibe at the pool, Hotel ZaZa made sure you remembered to “Stay ZaZa”.

Chandeliers filled the hotel

>From the moment I entered the lobby I was engulfed by youthful luxury and style with magnificent chandeliers, velvet curtains, marble floors and vivid colors. Our room had a balcony filled with oversized furniture and overlooked the pool. I felt comfortable and spoiled!

When exiting the lobby for dinner and drinks that evening, we were met by the hotel’s very own car service. It’s a sleek black SUV with their “Stay ZaZa” tagline on the side doors and the skull of some horned animal on the grill. Complimentary car service again offers a luxurious and carefree feeling.

Hotel ZaZa’s Car Service

Having a room booked at the hotel that night was like having the golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. We were automatically VIP status…or as Hotel ZaZa puts it “ZZIP”. The pool and restaurant area turned into one of the hottest night clubs in Dallas and we had front row seats! Once again, the hotel was a true destination.

Urban Oasis

Saturday brunch was incredible in their elegant restaurant. When it was time to pay the check, we were handed a promotional card that featured quotes from media write-ups about the hotel and a “Stay ZaZa” pen.

Pen, Matchbook & Promotional Card

While walking out, we found a matchbook and mini notepad once again with the famous tagline reminding you to “Stay ZaZa”.

Daytime at Urban Oasis was definitely the place where you went to be seen. Poolside cocktails and a free popsicle made me a happy camper! As the day went on, the pool grew smaller and smaller as more and more people joined the party. And Hotel ZaZa likes to host a party.

Balls of Fun at Hotel ZaZa

Around 2:30pm beach balls started flying from a 2nd floor balcony. I can’t believe how crazy I went over a beach ball. I even tried to take my new prize back to the room and was stopped and ask to leave the ball behind. When I inquired as to why, I was told that they were protecting their brand and didn’t want their logo to “end up somewhere they didn’t approve.” I respectfully gave up the beach ball!

As someone that discusses the importance of branding daily and as a business owner that is working on our very own brand, I was thoroughly impressed with Hotel ZaZa and all they had done to enforce their brand and image.

I’ll be back…and I might take my little dog too!

All Dogs Go To ZaZa

Social Media: Ready… Set… Now What?

By | advertising, branding, corporate branding, full moon design group, marketing, social media, strategy, Vicky Gouge | No Comments

So you are taking the plunge.  You’ve heard it over and over and you are taking the first steps toward getting your business in the social media / social networking realm.  Ready… Set… Now What?

Thoughtful planning and consideration need to go into the process, but the effort can be daunting and outright overwhelming.

Here’s a good solid approach that just about any business can follow and be successful with when entering social networking.

by Robbert van der Steeg1. Make the commitment and decide your time commitment. How much time you are willing to commit to be consistent with your participation?  The benefits of social media do not happen overnight.  They take time.  Making this commitment and sticking to it is the only way to ensure success.  Be realistic.  If you think you can only commit to an hour a week, then a blog may be the way to go (We like WordPress).  Got 2 hours? Why not establish a Facebook page as well.  As you become more familiar with each new site, you will find natural efficiencies occur and you will have more time to add more sites to your repertoire.

2. Monitor and listen and follow. Sometimes this is the easiest step and it will get you used to what is being said, by whom it is being said and the intricacies of engaging in those conversations.  This is often overlooked, but can be one of the most important steps you should take.  It gives you insight to your audience and will give you opportunities to be involved before you start blasting your message.  Technorati is a great tool for finding who is talking about what.  It’s free and you can search just about any term or group of terms and get a list of blogs or blog posts that pertain to those terms.  You can even find blog rankings and other pertinent information so you know who the industry influencers are no matter what industry you are in.  Follow the people who you find interesting.  Find industry experts and follow their conversations.  Learn what they do, what they talk about, who they follow and follow those people as well.  The more people you follow, the more you will learn.

3. Define your objectives and determine your measurements of success. What do you hope to gain by becoming active?  Brand awareness? Better customer service? Increased sales?  Specifically state your goals and you will have a way to measure them and determine if your efforts are worth the time.  Will you measure success by the number of “followers” or “fans”? or will measure success by the number of posts or comments to your blog?

4. Do your research. Who is your audience? Where (which sites) do they reside? Why should they listen to you (i.e. what do you have to offer)?  Without this prior knowledge and understanding, you are basically taking a shot in the dark hoping to hit your target… oh after you’ve been twirled around until you are almost sick with dizziness.  Yep. That’s a good analogy. If you start spattering off about nothing in particular to no one (or everyone) in particular, the chances of people taking your seriously are pretty slim.  Or they may just tune you out completely.  Take your time to develop the right ideas, but hurry up already…  The world is waiting.

5. Establish a strategy or game plan. Don’t just start blasting anyone and everyone with no process or purpose.  Develop a schedule.  Develop a theme. Get organized.  Brainstorm topic ideas that you have knowledge of, have an opinion about, or want to learn about.  This last one is important, because not everything has to be about what you know.  It can be about what you don’t know!  There is nothing wrong with asking for advice from your audience.  This can lead to trust and open communication because people want to feel needed and they like to offer their “solicited” advice.

6. Monitor comments/conversations. It’s not just about your message.  It’s also about what other people are saying and topics they are discussing when it pertains you or your business.  And there are always dissenters out there that need to be addressed.  The only way you are going to know about these is to keep an eye on what is happening on the sites where you have a presence.  There are easy to use monitoring tools out there. Check out Hootsuite.  It’s a good one for monitoring and integration (plus a lot of other really cool tools.  We’ll get to this in a later post).

7. Determine time frame for measuring success. I’ll say it again: The benefits of social media do not happen overnight. However, you must track your progress as you go.  Remember those goals?  You have a starting point.  Now, how fast are you going to get there with the relation to the time commitment to which you have agreed?  What is working?  What is not?  What is necessary for consistent imaging of your brand?  Will you measure each of these by the week, by the month, by the quarter?  No matter what measurement scale or time frame you decide, make sure you are consistently measuring the same thing over a longer period of time.

8. Adjust as necessary. Not every site works for every person or business.  Only you can determine how best to use your time and how effective that use of time is on obtaining your goals.  Don’t be afraid to start something new, but think twice before you stop participating on a site.  Make sure you have used it effectively and for an adequate amount of time.  Most importantly: make sure your audience isn’t left hanging.

Of course, not everyone has the time to get in and get started or keep the time commitment to an appropriate level.  Full Moon Design Group has professionals that are experienced in helping clients engage with their customers on a variety of platforms.  We can help integrate your social media strategy into your overall marketing strategy, no learning curve involved.  We can guide you through each step or we can manage your strategy from start to finish.  We take your comfort level into consideration and develop the right plan for you and your business.

Want to get started?  Give us a call.  512.428.9072